I am the inverse-eyed spinner, dress forms & shapes
my pattern. This declaration secures my parameter

intwixt the issueless eunuchs & ensuing women
who come to me, massed together bumping bones,

with finger-rubbed coins asking for my vision. For them
I spraddle the fissure of wisdom with my long flat feet

planted apart, open to the bright. My cave – or socket –
wholly echoes with the sound of sky’s spit &

prayers, mingling into a particular language,
myself pilloried to my body, limby, hinged,

tripod anima teetering atop bipedal legs.
Beckoned vapor clouds my sight now

fogged as a glass…
 …I hear myself gabbling.
A recitation. (& grimacing.) A reckoning.

Litany. Catechismlyic. What men commonly call
a prophecy, coagulated words, knitted & taking

breath from the spasmed labor of contracting lungs.
I strain, sprawl, keel backwards, slobber (breath/e

breath/e) howl, keen, girlish-giggle gnash.
My eyes roll back, I witness in glimpses

the molded regular swells of voyeurs, mine.
Their skulls – shoulders – ribs – knees – heels –

against the arclessness of my own foot’s sole,
the barren fallow-field of my belly.

Hearing whisper their own tongue as I moan,
& I can’t translate. Even I don’t understand.

Are these our visions & are they ours /

You become the star you’re under

If I was flush to the fingers with witchy,
I’d not hesitate to magic up revenge. Despite my smile lines,
nondescript way of going about my way.
            You look familiar. Like my cousin?
            I’ve heard it. I’m not. But thank you. (I think.)
Eye of you & toe too, wooly brain & beloved tongue.
I’m saving up for the slugs in human skin.
Only I can see them & will not un-see. Kinship be damned.

Adoration of the mutant

crack my heart open & you can touch the other heart inside;
my furred biddable knot of needs, insatiable
for the wafer-language you good creature in the eyes of the lord.

ask us; we are up to the task of swallowing trash
in exchange for a lick of cheap port
clotting iron on our tongue; we swear we swear

Kate Strong Stadt is a former children’s librarian turned knowledge worker. Her poem “Delicate Cycle” was recently selected as a finalist for Iron Horse Review’s Photo Finish contest. Her latest obsession is cicadas.

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